Progress hasn’t exactly been in the forward direction.
The subframe isn’t complete for the following reasons.
The upper control arm shafts need replacing, the threads inside each of them are not good, and when one bushing end cap was torqued to spec, the bolt sheared. These will be replaced with the better design “nut-ends” where the control arm shaft end is threaded on the outside and a nut hold the bushing cap on, converse to the original where the shaft was threaded internally and a bolt screwed into them. This also means that the bushings will have to be removed and reinstalled/replaced.
I tied the upper and lower ball joints to the steering knuckle thinking that the coil springs would fit through when compressed; but not quite. So I had to split the lower ball joint, this had to be done with the splitter tool underneath the knuckle (it was too hard pressed to split with a hammer without risking damage to the stud thread), which meant that no matter how much I wanted it not to happen, it did: the rubber boots tore. I ordered some replacement boots, but these did not fit, so have decided to buy new ball joints because: the ones I have installed feel very stiff, and I’m worried that I caused it due to some impromptu installation method (a vice as a makeshift press and a six foot pole on the handle…) but I now have access to a press, so I’ll redo them and satisfy that doubt.
The engine is awaiting my decision.
I will definately be having one cylinder bored and sleeved back to stock bore as it is currently damaged.
However, I am in a muddle over what to do with the heads. I’ve been advised both ways on whether or not to bother get hardened exhaust valve seats fitted (for unleaded use). Either way I will be buying new valve train components: rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, springs, retainers, valves, locks, seals. Guides to be replaced. Probably a new camshaft as mine is fairly chipped. Probably not new pistons as I am keeping stock bore, but as one of them has seemingly had an accident (a big gouge in the cylinder wall) I don’t know. New piston rings. Cam, main and rod bearings. Plus, have since discovered that one of my cylinder heads is not original and is a ’65 head. It has been made to work, but now I know about it, it feels wrong to leave it be. One very tempting option is to buy a pair of heads from Butler Performance, they come pre-assembled with top quality components, ported out to increase power/efficiency, hardened exhaust valve seats as well. The price to buy them is obviously greater than not to… but not unreasonably, as it is comparable to what I’ve been quoted for work done to my existing head and a numbers matching replacement, with all the components purchased individually. Just waiting for them to answer my questions. One big dilemma. The people at the first gen forums have been very helpful and given me a lot to think about.
Still, a lot of work on the body to crack on with in the meantime.